Learning In The Kindergarten Year
The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum, especially in kindergarten. This does not mean watering down language arts and math, but it means spending a significant amount of time teaching students how to interact in the group in various learning situations - independent, whole group, partners, and small group. This is the focus at the beginning of the year and it leads to a classroom that is more efficient and effective when we dig deeper into our lessons in reading, writing, math, science, health, social studies, physical education, art, music, and technology.
Language Arts consists of phonics, vocabulary, writing, sight words, listening and speaking, comprehension, and reading. Our framework for language arts is Reading Street published by Pearson Scott Foresman. September begins with an overview of the alphabet, sounds, and rhymes. The curriculum progresses throughout the school year with a strong focus on phonics and vocabulary development.
As the school year develops, our language arts schedule will follow the daily five model. Research shows that the more time students spend actually reading, the better they read! Obviously! Each student will have their own bag of books that they use daily. The bag will have "books that fit" at their reading level and with their interests. There will also be plenty of opportunities to "shop" for new books from our classroom library to put into their bags. This reading time will include regular private reading conferences with Ms. Ready, independent reading time, partner reading time, working with words (phonics), and writing workshop.
Our Handwriting Curriculum is EZWrite. There are seven basic strokes taught to the students. These make up all of the letter formations. Research shows that students who can print faster and more legibly become better readers and writers.
Our math curriculum is Envision Math. We will explore a variety of math concepts using visual, hands-on, and number sense activities. Practice pages will be used when appropriate. Students will have math journals that they use to illustrate problem solving. Calendar time each day directs many math activities. The curriculum's interactive math lessons are a class favorite. We study position/locations, numbers to 100, counting forwards and backwards, skip counting, flat and solid shapes, ordinals and fractions, time (to the hour,) money (penny, nickel, quarter, dollar,) addition, graphing, comparing numbers, and subtraction.
Kindergarten integrates all learning in the classroom. We also use themes to incorporate science, social, health, etc. with reading, writing, and math. September themes include bears, gingerbread men, and apples.
Research indicates that the young child learns best when exposed to a variety of learning opportunities; therefore, a variety of directed or choice "play" activities are offered. These activities are carefully planned and align with our language arts, math, and theme lessons.